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FCC Chairman's Information Vision : Reed Hundt Says He Wants Technology Accessible to All


The criticism seems curious for a man who has met with scores of industry representatives, made nearly 20 public appearances and even hosted an elaborate 80th birthday party for Quello last month in an effort to build bridges. The criticism also seems at odds with the success Hundt has enjoyed in pursuing his administrative agenda.

In the seven meetings the agency has held since Hundt took office in December, for example, commissioners have approved 45 FCC initiatives--all but three unanimously.

Some say that no matter how hard Hundt tries, it may be difficult to recast his public image at a federal agency that has a long history of political infighting.

"People criticize every new chairman, but I've had no problem" with Hundt, said Andrew Barrett, a Republican lawyer who was appointed to the FCC in 1989. "I think the complaints about Reed stem from the fact that he has not allowed himself to be used" by industry lobbyists, Barrett said.

"Nobody likes to be criticized personally," Hundt said. "But I'm pretty confident that we are very seriously considering all the industry views and making very rational decisions."

Bio: Reed Eric Hundt

* Born: March 3, 1948

* Hometown: Ann Arbor, Mich.

* Education: St. Albans School for Boys (class of 1965); Yale College (1969); Yale Law School (1974)

* Career highlights: Partner in the Washington office of the Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins law firm; senior adviser and member of the Economic Council for the Presidential Transition Team; law clerk to the late Chief Judge Harrison L. Winter of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

* Family: Married to Elizabeth Katz, a psychologist in private practice. Three children: Adam, Nathaniel and Sara.

* Quote: "We have a lot of potential to help the economy and to help working men and women by making the right decisions" for the telecommunications industry. "The way to make the right decisions is to introduce choice everywhere we can. But if we make decisions that are less than right, we can seriously frustrate the aspirations of all Americans."

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